Monday, January 2, 2012

Drooling in His Sleep

Today was a very interesting realization day for me.

Before coming to the barn, I watched three parts of the circling game problem solving sections in the Liberty and Horse Behavior Parelli DVD course. They were on fixing draw due to confidence issues, using change of direction when the horse breaks gait as a means of using psychology to maintain gait, and sending him strong when he comes in with yucky expression. The third one does not really apply as an example of what Blu has been doing lately, but it was a BFO for me in the matter of quitting and an application of making when it comes to the horse coming to you.

My plan was to do some sideways from zone five with two line driving. Then I would ask for the circling game and improve it by one percent in less than five minutes, then QUIT!

When I got there, Blu seemed fatigued, though. He was also drooling. When I asked him to go from zone five it took him a few minutes to figure out what to do; I waited for the lick and chew, but after another minute, he had gone completely away and catatonic.

I waited but after fifteen minutes I took the lines off and sat on a barrel some twenty feet away. On the barrel I was thinking about Blu and Misty and wonderful things we had done together and would do in the future. Every now and then I would check on the Blu in front of me. His eyes were closed and his head was down.

It occurred to me that I might be too close so I went to the furthest corner of the arena and looked out into the woods. Five minutes later I heard Blu leaving. I was glad that he was moving and I didn't care where he was going, but he stopped and looked at me, wavered his line of direction toward me for a step then changed his mind and continued on toward the barn.

This was really significant because I could see how far he had been pushed the past two days and how much distance I had to put between us for him to feel it was okay to leave.

I will see him tomorrow to resume the conversation--or, as it were, to begin a new conversation.

Blu and I are going to have a great time during our next session because there has never been a time before today that I did not take his leaving personally. I realize where he is coming from and know what we need to do to continue on together as partners. I understand him!

I made a few check off lists for the future and know that we will journey through those lists admirably because of this milestone of emotional fitness in the face of a horse in catatonia.

Natural Horsewoman Out.

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About Me

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I am a young horsewoman with a million things on my mind. I have been a student of the horse all my life. As a little girl, I had a desire to understand horses on deeper levels. I believed that there was no such thing as a bad horse, and I believed that all horses were beautiful. One might say that I was a naive child, but I guess I don't have an excuse anymore, because I still believe all of that, and Parelli Natural Horsemanship is helping expand on this perspective.

What We Are Currently Playing With

  • Moving Close Circles at Liberty
  • Soft, Balanced Canter on 45' Line
  • Zone 5 Driving